You can make lox at home? Yes, you can! If you always wanted to learn how to make lox at home, you are in the right place, with this step by step tutorial.
What is lox?
Traditionally lox was just a salt- brined salmon filet.
There are many different types of lox. They are all named for a method of brining and preparation. Nova lox have a mild brine and then are cold smoked.
The other types are Scotch, Nordic and Gravlax, each has a slightly different brine and most are then cold smoked.
Cold smoking is smoking that is done at a temperature of less than 80°F. This is a bit more difficult to do at home, because most consumer type smokers only do 100°F at the lowest.
Is there a difference between lox and smoked salmon?
Yes. Smoked salmon is first brined for a shorter time and then hot smoked at a higher temperature than lox. Usually at low temperature, around 175°F. You want the salmon to be cooked to a temperature of 145°F, until done.
Smoked salmon does not have the silky texture that lox have. It has a more chewy texture.
What salmon to use
The best salmon species to use are Atlantic, Sockeye, King or Coho salmon. They have a higher fat content.
If shopping for salmon at a grocer, buy frozen salmon. Then thaw it and continue with the recipe.
Don’t use salmon from the fish department that has been thawed.
A word about eating raw, or undercooked fish
The US FDA has guidelines for consuming raw or undercooked fish and seafood. They recommend using preciously frozen seafood If you choose to consume raw fish…. “one rule of thumb is to eat fish that has been previously frozen.“
Furthermore, there are specific groups of individuals that should avoid raw or undercooked seafood. See article for more information on who should avoid undercooked foods.
What you need
- Salmon filet
- brown sugar
- plastic wrap and aluminum foil
- container large enough to place salmon in
How to make it
- Rinse and dry salmon by patting with paper towels.
- Mix salt and sugar.
- Lay plastic wrap in container large enough to hold salmon, laying it flat. Sprinkle salt & sugar on plastic. Top with salmon. Add remaining salt & sugar to the top of the salmon.
Place something flat over the top of salmon and weight it down. Place in refrigerator for 2 days.
When you take the salmon out of the refrigerator, unwrap it. Then rinse the salmon very well.
Once the salmon is rinsed, slice with a filet knife across the salmon into very thin slices. (Knife should be parallel to your cutting board.)
If you don’t have a filet knife, you can also dice the cured salmon.
How to eat lox
One of the most famous ways to enjoy lox is with bagels and cream cheese. The traditional Jewish delis in New York City always have bagels, cream cheese and lox on the menu.
This is usually served with cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions and capers.
Lox and cream cheese make a delicious dip for crackers or bread points. Add some colorful fresh herbs, like dill and parsley and some lemon zest. Totally delicious.
You can also make a simple appetizer with slices of cucumber, smeared with cream cheese and topped with salmon and a sprinkle of fresh chives.
They’re also delicious on a cracker with a slice of cheese!
How long will it last?
It should last at least seven days, if refrigerated. For longer storage, place in bags and freeze up to 4 or 5 months.
Other delicious salmon recipes
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How to Make Lox
- 2 lbs salmon filet use Atlantic, Sockeye, King or Cohoe salmon ** see important notes below!
- 1 cup salt use sea salt or Kosher salt, not table salt.
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Rinse salmon and pat dry. ** See important notes below.
- Dry salmon well by blotting with paper towel.
- Mix salt and sugar.
- Cut plastic wrap large enough to wrap entire piece of salmon.
- Place plastic wrap in large container, big enough to hold salmon filet.
- Spread salt mixture all on top of salmon.
- Wrap with plastic.
- Wrap with aluminum foil.
- Place a heavy weight on top of salmon.
- Store in refrigerator 2 days.
- Rinse salmon very well and pat dry.
- Slice salmon very thin, with filet knife, along the top of the fish with knife parallel to board.
- See notes for storage tips.